April 25, 2005

Defence spending – how much should nations spend?

Ok, never really done this blog thing before, so as a nice gentle introduction, I have a serious question! :O)

I've been asked to consider why nations choose to spend money on defence (ie the military and its supporting services), and what might affect the level of that expenditure.

I've got lots of ideas already, but i'm lacking in arguments AGAINST spending on defence. So, i'm interested in your views – why shouldn't countries spend on defence, or at least why should they spend much less than they do now?

I do already have things such as the public spending trade-off between defence/health/education/etc, so ideally looking for some other factors…

I know there are people who are totally anti-war and things like that, but I can't really see what argument they might have for having no spending on defence – thats why I need your input!

Comments gratefully received! :O)

David


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  1. TotalBiscuit

    The simple argument is that there's no reason to spend on defense if you're not at risk of being attacked. Can you justify pumping billions into building tanks, bombs and planes when there is almost no risk of invasion by any country in the world. Who's going to invade us, I mean really? Armies do not stop terrorism, counter-terrorism stops terrorism and counter-terrorism does not involve million-strong armies and platoons of Challengers.

    25 Apr 2005, 00:39

  2. A country like the UK can't really justify massive "Defense" expenditure. It's under the protective umbrella of the United States. It doesn't have any regional (military) enemies and the only times it's put its weaponry to any real use over the past 30-odd years has been to sink passenger ships, bomb bridges and water-purification plants etc. Oh yes and any surplus we can always sell off to Indonesia, or Iraq (well not anymore), Iran, Saudi Arabia etc.

    So for the UK to be spending (what, is it still £35-odd billion?) while a kid with a broken leg has to spend 2–10 hours waiting in an NHS hospital to see a doctor is completely inexcusable.

    25 Apr 2005, 01:20

  3. Mathew Mannion

    In an attempt to respond to this without sinking into Daily Mail culture…

    Let's all disband all the armies and have a shiny happy dance.

    Can't think of a decent argument against spending on defence… happy raindow shiny land where nobody needs defence because nobody attacks?

    25 Apr 2005, 01:39

  4. Can't we just pretend to spend money on defence, then countries wouldn't attack us, because they think we have weapons to defend ourselves in that possibility. When in fact the money has been diverted to other public services.

    25 Apr 2005, 02:34

  5. Peter Thomas

    The reality of the present age dictates that we do not need increased expenditure but better quality investment in a smaller and more elite armed forces to deal with the issues that are country is likely to face today. Britain is no longer a player on the world stage and the cold war as over. However for national pride's sake i can understand why there has been concern expressed over the deconstruction of some Scottish regiments within the army which have existed for centuries and will be missed by those in the military tradition.

    25 Apr 2005, 11:35

  6. karimo

    I think you are ignoring the public conditioning/brainwashing that spending money on 'our boys' is a good thing. Why all the ads for the Armed Forces? We are not fighting a war. Also bear in mind that the biggest advocates of increased spending on the Armed Forces are the top brass themselves. Why? Because few people want to portray themselves as useless. Doesn't the UK have the largest amount spent on 'defence' per capita in Europe? If other countries can survive with less spending surely we can? Probably shades of the Empire and people wanting to have an 'influence' on the world

    23 May 2005, 19:52

  7. Miana

    Well if we have any kinds of treatys with other countries or could possibly in the future be connected on supporting a coutry or another, we do need to be prevented. Also, if we do have possession of goos defence weapons then others will think we have a good protection, and that will lower their expectations. It widely depends on a countries living standard and quality of life, as different coutries have different priorities.

    24 Oct 2006, 21:18


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